Driving to Maine from New Jersey is a looooong drive. Even breaking it up with a stop in Boston for a few days, we quickly ran through an audiobook and couldn’t find a decent radio station on the drive. Luckily, I had my Droid handy, and we gave Pandora and Slacker a spin.
Slacker…I want to like it, I really do. But on the free version, it doesn’t seem to hold onto a music stream well. It gets four or five songs in, and then seems to be stuck, requiring the app to be exited and restarted. It’s a huge pain, especially while driving. If it were the best option available, I’d probably pay for the premium version and cache the stations I like, but it’s not the only game in town. I couldn’t get it working well for me in New Jersey, so I didn’t bother to test it when I was up in New England.
Pandora, the other program I used, was a champ. I fired it up somewhere around the Massachusetts/New Hampshire border, and it did not skip or freeze once. The sound quality was awesome, and even switching from 3G to 1xRTT didn’t even phase it. Granted, we didn’t go much farther north than Portland, but moving between towns and cell towers without a stutter or drop in music was very impressive.
The only downside I discovered was that plugging the charger and my auxiliary cable in simultaneously made for a disturbing and high pitched noise. Porter (my dog) especially did not like it, as he was napping happily in the backseat, and BOLTED awake at the sound. Luckily, Pandora didn’t take as big a bite out of my battery as I feared, so it wasn’t an immediate problem.
I have to admit, while I’ve used internet radio on and off, I always thought it would be a poor choice for long drives. Now I know I don’t need to panic about keeping every mp3 in my collection on my microSD card, or surf through static and top 40 stations looking for something halfway decent! Are there other options I should try? Do you suggest giving Slacker another shot, or is Pandora your favorite too? Share your thoughts below!